Blue Danube Waltz Op. 314 (1867)
Johann Strauss II (1825-1899)
The most famous waltz of all time started inauspiciously as a choral piece with lyrics by a policeman celebrating the glories of electric street lighting! For some reason this failed to inspire all except the most dedicated of engineers, and was soon forgotten. However, when Johann Strauss Jr. needed a work for the Paris Exposition, he converted it to a purely orchestral concert waltz, its title flattering the rather muddy Danube. The first of many waltzes by the “Waltz King”, it soon became famous and established itself as an emblem of Vienna, and a fixture in the famous New Years Day concerts. Its five distinct sections each includes two waltz themes, a new standard for this genre.
Performed: 17/8/2014, 24/8/2014